Misguided, hostile policy
Has President Donald Trump’s forceful crackdown on immigrants crossing U.S. borders illegally caught up to Bradenton in a sideways, bad way? That looks like the case for the owners of a business on Cortez Road, a popular place called Andrew’s Bakery and Cafe. A posting on the cafe’s Facebook page said it all: “Our visa extension application has been rejected by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, so to comply with laws we have to close our beloved shop.”
Beloved. What does that say? That’s only extremist in the best way possible.
The note then states: “We tried our best and ran it with faith and love, but we have to accept the fact that this country does not need us and our restaurant. Thank you all for being our guests.”
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Does that sound like the ravings of a terrorist band? Of course not.
These restaurant owners are not stealing jobs from Americans, they are providing them. And we want to deport them? That doesn’t make sense.
The constant argument against any immigrants is that they are stealing jobs from American citizens — “job killers,” in one sense. Well, not the owners of Andrew’s Bakery and Cafe. And not others.
On another level, the truth is Americans do not want to bend over harvesting tomatoes or any crop for lousy wages, breaking their backs especially in Florida’s hot climate. That fact has been proven time and again.
This is an emotional subject for many Americans who support broad deportation and wall building. Bu the Pew Research Center, U.S. Departments of Agriculture and Labor, leading economists and researchers all document the high value illegal immigrants bring to the U.S. economy in such vital industries as agriculture, essential to Manatee County’s economy.
Yes, there are those who exploit our giving nature, via welfare benefits, food stamps and medical coverage. Those parasites who came to the United States just to take advantage of Americans should be deported. But the fact is that is patently false. The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 slashed welfare extended to immigrants. Only green card holders and refugees granted asylum have been designated as “qualified” and all other immigrants — including undocumented workers and many people lawfully here in the United State s— are considered “not qualified” and therefore ineligible for welfare. And even qualified immigrants have to spend five years in this country before applying for Medicaid, food stamps, or cash assistance for families with children.
Bradenton is poorer for the loss of Andrew’s Bakery and Cafe. Best of luck to the owners — and the employees.
Quotes of the Week
“This government needs to move on. I want to urge all of you to drop the subject.” — Manatee County Attorney Mickey Palmer, talking sternly to county commissioners at a Thursday work session that devolved into acrimony about deciding not to extend Administrator Ed Hunzeker’s contract beyond next January. Palmer also said, “We need some civilityl. I hope calmer thoughts will prevail.”
These statements about the matter at the meeting came from county commissioners:
“It is dividing the board more and more that we don’t even trust each other anymore.” — Charles Smith.
“It needs to stop being a contentious issue for this board. It cannot come up every time.” — Betsy Benac, commission chair.